• Mating: Polygamous
• Peak Breeding Activity: April and May
• Young Hatch: April and May
• Number of Eggs: Up to 5,000
• Eggs Produced: Once a year
• Feeding Periods: Dusk to dawn
• Typical Foods: Insects and invertebrates
• Length: 2-3.5 inches
The American toad is often confused with the Fowler's toad which is similar in appearance. The American toad can be distinguished from the Fowler's by the dark spots found on its back. An American toad has only one, two, or three large warts in each of these large dark spots. By contrast, the Fowler's toad generally has more warts on these spots.
Most males are brown, but there is much variation within the species and some males are shades of gray or olive, or brick red. The American toad may also display patches of yellow or buff. The dark spots on its body are brown or black and the warts vary from yellow to brown. Female American toads are larger than the males.
Habitat and Habits
The American toad requires both land and water habitats; it prefers shallow bodies of water, such as temporary pools, ditches, or shallow portions of streams, for breeding. On land it seeks hiding places under boardwalks, flat stones, logs, wood piles or other similar cover.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Eggs, resembling long spiral tubes of jelly, are laid in water. From the time the eggs are laid, young toads are on their own; they receive no parental care from the adults. After 3 to 12 days, a small nearly black tadpole emerges from the egg. Immature American toads then go through a process known as metamorphosis, where over a period of 50 to 60 days the body transforms in shape and matures, resulting in a change from a limbless, waterborne tadpole to a four-legged animal capable of living on both land and water.